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Getting social for the Fourth


With the long Independence Day weekend tempting us right over there on the horizon, many of us are packing our bags, fueling up our cars or just getting ready for a holiday weekend close to home. Keeping the spirit of the holiday in mind, we dug up a few fun links about the Fourth and social media - have a look if you're searching for something to distract you from a holiday weekend that's only a day away.

  • How Would Social Media have Shaped the Declaration of Independence? For one thing, the blogger notes, that "bill of particulars" in the Declaration where colonists specify complaints against King George is made up of a bunch of statements that are each about the length of a tweet: "He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness of his invasions on the rights of the people." (129 characters)
  • Online Comments on the Declaration of Independence? If the Declaration had broken as a news story today, of course the full text would be posted online. And open to user comments. (GEORGE3: This is the most idiotic piece of cr*p I ever read. Maybe next time they should try getting somebody who can actually write.) Be sure to read the real user comments at the end of this column about, well, user comments.
  • Transparency and Vulnerability in the Interconnected Age. On a more serious note, here's a comparison of the sort of radical transparency the Founding Fathers exhibited by signing their names to the Declaration of Indpendence with the sort of online transparency we're dealing with these days. Looking at the role of social media in recent political struggles worldwide - anything from Saudi Arabian women calling for the right to drive, to social's acceleration of uprising in Egypt - how might the American Revolution played out differently had our country's founders been wielding iPhones?
  • Declaration of Independence from Social Media (for One Day). You knew it was coming (and maybe you're even taking heed yourself): a call to pull the plug from social over the long weekend. Yes, it's an amusing riff on the real Declaration - Social media has refused to assent to social laws most wholesome and necessary for the public good, such as not allowing us to disconnect from people we haven't spoken to in years - but if checking in on Foursquare is starting to feel more like a chore than a game, it might be worth a thought.

Unless you're committed to "checking out" this weekend, you've probably seen some fun, useful or interesting connections between social media and the Fourth. We'd love to see them - please share in the comments below. Happy Independence Day!


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